How the Progress Bar Keeps You Sane [TED Video]

The progress bar.

A common element on websites and applications.

You’ve seen all kinds of progress bars, from animated clocks to a vertical bar that fills up slowly from left to right.

And sometimes it feels like watching the progress bar is waiting for a pot of water to boil.

As science and culture journalist Daniel Engber explains in his three-minute TED video, it doesn’t really matter whether the percent done indicator in a progress bar is giving you the correct percentage done.

What matters is that the progress bar exists.

The progress bar gives you the vision of a beginning and an end. You’re working towards a goal.

Seeing the progress bar makes people feel better.

Source: TED
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.
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